Politics

At 5, Aielle Aguilar is Philippines’ youngest jiu-jitsu world champion

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ALEIA Aielle Aguilar etched history in Abu Dhabi, besting her Brazilian counterpart to become the country’s youngest jiu-jitsu world champion.

Following the footsteps of her renowned father Alvin Aguilar, the five-year-old sensation reigned supreme in the 2022 Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Championships with a submission win over Brazil’s Gabriela Vercosa at the Jiu-jitsu Arena in UAE.

The youngest daughter of Alvin, considered as the country’s MMA founding father, pulled off a perfect sprawl and put on a relentless pressure from there on as Ms. Vercosa tapped out.

Fighting out of Deftac-Ribeiro Jiu-jitsu Philippines, Aleia first dominated home bet Maria El Halabi in a 6-0 semifinal win that served as her stepping stone to rule the kids’ 1 Under 16-kg event.

“I’m beyond happy that my baby girl is now the Philippines’ youngest world champion. We will continue to work hard to bring honor to our country,” beamed the elder Aguilar, who’s also the president and founder of the longest Filipino MMA promotion in Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC).

Aleia actually braved her way to the mat alone, without her mother Maybelline Masuda who watched from afar, but still came out with an impressive performance to realize a championship dream this early.

Aside from the Aguilar patriarch, Ms. Masuda in the past had also stamped her class in the sport after becoming the first ever Filipino jiu-jitsu world champion in 2009 and taking home the country’s first gold in the 2014 Asian Beach Games — making it a proud parent-daughter feat for Aleia.

Aleia, who was also joined by the junior grappling team, her brothers Alonso Lucas and Andreas Lucho Aguilar, coach Lester del Rosario along with athletes Fierre Afan, Lord Gabriel Del Rosario, Joaquin Antonio Marte and David Zaldarriaga, will be arriving home tomorrow. — John Bryan Ulanday